I got carried away with mincemeat this year and made four batches! I started with my cranberry mincemeat, which I absolutely love.
When I spotted Vicki’s recipe a few weeks ago, I decided to give it a go as well. Check her website, The Free From Fairy. All her recipes are gluten-free and incredibly mouth-watering!
I ended up making it up as I was going along, removing a couple of ingredients, adding a few others and the result was this fruity mincemeat.
It is rich, flavoursome and contains a lot less raisins than traditional mincemeat.
Whenever we make mince pies, the children are left in charge of the pastry, but when I read about these Quick Puff Pastry Mince Pies on Julie’s Family Kitchen, one of my favourite food blogs, I decided to give it a go on a lazy Saturday afternoon. We had pastry and a jar of mincemeat in the fridge.
They were the quickest mince pies we had ever made, and the result was delicious.
The children absolutely loved those light, flaky mince pies and Crevette declared it was the best mincemeat in the world. Every single mince pie disappeared before dinner.
The children gave their teachers a mulled wine kit for Christmas, and their teaching assistants were treated to a jar of mincemeat, along with our easy pastry recipe. They were quick presents to put together, and they were well-received.
Fruity Mincemeat and Easiest Homemade Mince Pies
For the mincemeat:
- 180 g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 60 ml brandy
- 150 g dried cranberries
- 150 g dried apricots chopped
- 200 g raisins
- 2 pears peeled and finely chopped
- 1 apple peeled and finely chopped
- Zest and juice of an orange
- Zest and juice of a lemon
- 3 cm piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 60 ml amaretto
For the mince pies:
- 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
- 1 small free-range egg
- 2 teaspoons golden caster sugar
- Mix the sugar and brandy in a large pan and place on a medium heat to dissolve the sugar. It should take about two minutes.
- Add all other ingredients apart from the amaretto and bring to simmering point, then reduce the heat.
- Cover and cook for 35 minutes, stirring regularly.
- In the meantime, take the pastry out of the fridge and start sterilising jars.
- Wash both the jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse them well. Preheat your oven to gas mark 1 (135 degrees Celsius / 275 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool down a little.
- Place the jars upside down on a baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the oven using a clean tea towel to handle them and raise the oven temperature to gas mark 5 (190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit). Sterilise the lids by immersing them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Dry thoroughly.
- Add the amaretto to the pan and mix well.
- Dust a little flour on a clean work surface. Roll the pastry to make it thinner.
- Using a 7.5cm presentation ring or a glass, make 24 pastry rounds.
- Place 12 pastry rounds on a non-stick baking sheet, then add a couple of teaspoons of mincemeat in the centre of each one.
- Dab a little water on the edges of the pastry rounds and place the 12 lids on top of the filled rounds.
- Close your mince pies by either pressing all around with your fingers, a fork, or by gathering the two rounds of pastry together.
- Brush a little beaten egg on top of each mince pie and sprinkle sugar on top.
- Using a knife, make a small air hole at the top of each mince pie.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Enjoy warm.
- Spoon the rest of the mincemeat into the sterilised jars. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge.
Here is a visual reminder of what to do: